Pepsi to use 100% recycled plastic bottles in nine European markets by 2022

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Pepsi's new rPET bottle. Pic:PepsiCo
Pepsi's new rPET bottle. Pic:PepsiCo

Related tags Pepsi Pepsico

PepsiCo will eliminate all virgin plastic from the Pepsi brand in nine European markets: lowering carbon emissions by 40% compared to standard bottles.

The company will package all Pepsi bottles with plastics recycled from post-consumer packaging. PepsiCo says it will also continue its progress towards growing reuse and refill systems such as SodaStream.

The company estimates that the move to 100% rPET for these beverage bottles will eliminate over 70,000 tonnes of virgin, fossil-fuel based plastic per year, and will lower carbon emissions per bottle by approximately 40%.

Germany, Poland, Romania, Greece and Spain will switch to 100% rPET in 2021, while France, Great Britain, Belgium and Luxembourg will be at 100% rPET in 2022. The move applies to both company-owned and franchise bottlers in the relevant markets.

In France, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg the commitment will include all PepsiCo soft drinks: such as 7Up, Mountain Dew and Lipton Ice Tea. Poland and Romania will also use 100% rPET in Mirinda.

Silviu Popovici, CEO, PepsiCo Europe, said: “Starting with these nine markets, we are working to incorporate 100% recycled plastic into our beverage bottles so we can minimise our use of virgin, fossil-fuel based packaging. We will also look to go further and faster in other European markets where the conditions allow.

“Collaboration between all stakeholders across the EU is central to this issue. We need to design packaging to be recyclable, reduce the amount of packaging we use, and make it easy for consumers to recycle. Working with policy makers and waste management systems, we need to collect more bottles so that plastic needs never become waste.  Everyone can and should play a part in developing a circular economy for plastic.”

Across its European portfolio of beverages, PepsiCo is targeting 50% rPET by 2030. It has already reached 30%.

PepsiCo says three factors have accelerated progress towards rPET: technological innovations enabling the use of recycled plastics for carbonated drink bottles, improvements in the appearance of recycled plastic, and greater availability of recycled materials on the market.

This new PepsiCo commitment supports the European Commission’s recycled plastics pledging campaign that seeks to ensure that ten million tonnes of recycled plastics are used to make new products in the EU market by 2025.

PepsiCo has previously announced the launch of three brands (Tropicana, Naked Smoothies and Lipton Iced Tea) in 100% rPET bottles across a number of EU markets.

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